When I was a kid, we moved around a lot: we lived in Washington, California, Hawaii, Switzerland and Norway to name a few, living in furnished homes with all the possessions of the real owners.
We sat on other people’s sofas.
We used other people’s china.
We bathed in other people’s bathtubs.
This is just how life was: my parents were crazy for travel, and we were always heading out somewhere, or coming back from somewhere.
Thus as a young adult starting my own family, it felt natural to pack up every few years and start fresh.
You never get bored. Your stuff doesn’t accumulate. You don’t get habituated to routine. It’s exciting, it’s dramatic, and it’s very, very distracting.
Which is why I am surprised to look at where I live, and realized I have been here eleven years.
The same house, for more than a decade.
The house filled with my stuff.
The house I’ve stuck with.
Here, I have lived through more than 42 seasons: twelve quartets of summer, fall, winter, spring, each passing in sublime glory from one to the next.
Sunflowers to autumn leaves to blustery rain to the greenest spring woods you’ve every seen.
I never imagined living in the country, and it was a rough start at first: I felt trapped, a prisoner in the woods, and it is not underestimated to say I was afraid of everything.
Bugs. Mud. Weather. Dark.
It was only slowly, over time, that I began to understand that living in this hermitage is a gift.
There is nothing boring about allowing yourself to stay in one place for a while: to stop moving, hold steady, and watch the leaves dance in the breeze around you.
I live here now.
For the first time in my life, I hold a sense of place. And I am starting to believe, this place also holds me.
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